Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Fruits of Grace in the Life

From Edwards' Signs of Godliness notebook:
The fruits of grace in the life must needs be the proper evidences of it. What can be the proper evidence of a person's loving God above all but his actually preferring him, or preferring him indeed when it comes to a trial? What can be the proper evidences of the heart's forsaking all for Christ, or of his willingness to forsake all for him, than his actually doing of it, as there is occasion? What can be the proper evidence of trusting in the promises of God, than his actually running the venture of their truth when it comes to a trial? 
The act of the man must be the proper evidence of the act of the heart. The will must be shown by the voluntary actions. We find the promises of God sometimes made to conversion and sometimes to perseverance: 'tis because perseverance is but the actual fulfillment of that which is virtually done in conversion, and the accomplishment is the proper evidence of the virtual accomplishment. When two things are set before a man to see which he will choose, the proper evidence which he chooses, is which he takes. So is practice the evidence of sincerity, and the fruit that by which the tree is known. Surely the proper evidence of a man's heart's being prepared to cleave to Christ above all, is his actually doing it; the proper manifestation of choice is act. 
'Tis true it is the heart that God looks at; godliness lies in the disposition of the heart, but godliness consists not in an heart to purpose to fulfill God's commandments, but in an heart actually to do it.
—Jonathan Edwards, Writings on the Trinity, Grace, and Faith (ed. Sang Hyun Lee; vol. 21, Works; New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003), 476.

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